We are called to profess our faith in Christ, without any shame. We can read this in Luke 9:26 and in Romans 1:16. However, we must be aware of our testimony and act wisely. It is not right to force our testimony on others and sometimes it is even wise to remain silent about our background.
Esther 2:20 (NIV)
The father of the Jewish girl Esther was an uncle of Mordecai (Esther 2:15). When Esther’s parents passed away, Mordecai took care of his niece and became her foster father. Mordecai was also a Jew. His great grandfather was taken out of his country by king Nebuchadnezzar (Esther 2:6). This is why Esther and Mordecai lived in Persia.
When the king of Persia needed a new queen and chose Esther (Esther 2:17), Mordecai advised her to never tell anyone her background. So Esther doesn’t tell anyone about her being Jewish. Not out of fear, but it was wise in that situation. Later God would use her identity for his own purposes. Esther didn’t know this in advance of course. Therefore, we act in faith, without seeing what is ahead of us.
Not long after, came the order that everyone should bow down to Haman, a man with delusions of grandeur. Mordecai, who had respect in the city, decided not to bow down because he only wanted to honour his God.
Esther 3:2 (NIV)
In this case Mordecai, who had advised his niece Queen Esther to keep her origins secret, let everyone know that he was a Jew. This might cost him his life! (See Esther 3:6). He didn’t know this in advance of course. Therefore, we act in faith, without seeing what is ahead of us.
When we have the choice whether or not we confess that we belong to Jesus Christ, we must learn to act in faith. The Biblical command to tell everyone about Jesus will prevail in many cases. We should not deny him out of embarrassment. However, sometimes we have to remain silent, knowing that we should not cast pearls before swine, knowing that it is not the right time; but knowing, through our faith. And sometimes we must speak, knowing that the consequences could be huge. We may trust that He who gives us the command, is with us always.